Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What do I believe?

I get asked this a lot. I mentioned before that I have no dogmatic beliefs. What I mean by this is that I don't believe in any of the traditional creeds of mankind, nor do I believe in any of the gods mankind has devised to worship. This means I do not believe in Zeus, Thor, Isis, Shiva, Krishna, Kwan Yin, the Great Mother Goddess, Allah, Elohim, Yahweh, or Jesus.

But this is what I don't believe in. What is it that I DO believe in? After all, we are more defined by what we do believe than what we don't believe.

Let's start with this:

This is a famous image taken by the Hubble Telescope. It's called the Pillars of Creation, and is a formation in the Eagle Nebula. The largest pillar is four light years in length, the little pillars that stream off the ends of the bigger pillars are larger than the Solar System. This is part of a nebula, which is essentially a giant incubator for stars. This formation is a small part of an even smaller part of our galaxy. Our galaxy is only one of billions each containing billions of stars. There are more stars in this universe than their are grains of sand on all the beaches on this earth.

Beyond that, this picture was taken within the past twenty years, but what you are seeing is the formation as it looked 7,000 years ago. It has taken the light from these pillars 7,000 years to travel across space to get to our eye. You are literally looking back in time when you see this image.

This for me is one of the big reasons I don't believe in any of the gods mankind has made. They are all too small in comparison to all of this. A god of such magnitude as to command and create a universe of this scale would not be concerned with our petty squabbles on a pebble like our earth. They wouldn't be interested in human passions and affairs. We do not live long enough nor are we big enough to be of any significance to something that can form dust into stars.

Contrast this with some of the concepts of God floating about in the modern consciousness. Biblical literalism tells us that the earth was formed in six days 6,000 years ago. If that were so, we would never be able to see these gorgeous Pillars of Creation as they are 7,000 light years away from us. The earth appears to be 4.5 billion years old roughly and our universe is around 14.5 billion years old. We have seen galaxies potentially as far away as 13 billion light years. A god of only 6 days of creation 6,000 years ago is far too small compared to what we can see with our own eyes in this amazing universe.

The Gods of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are concerned with what we eat and drink, how we live our lives, who we talk to, what words we say, what we believe, where we go on Sundays, etc. Meanwhile, if the whole human race were to parish, the universe would continue existing without us. We cannot affect even our star with our limited capabilities. Why should these beings be so concerned with us and have the same agendas we do?

I do not say any of this to bash the beliefs of others. These are simply the questions that have led me to believe what I do. If there is a God, then I do not believe that they care what I do with my life, nor what happens on this planet.

When you look at how vast this universe is and how tiny we are, it would seem logical that you would be filled with despair. But the opposite happens in me. In me, I realize that it's incredible that I can know all of this. That I can see this spectacular and wondrous world and universe around me and realize that the same dust that formed these stars also formed everything around me. I am literally stardust. I am the living incarnation of these unliving stars and nebulae, breathing air and fully aware of what I am. God is not out there, not some being to be worshiped and adored. God is inside me and inside of you. You are the living universe, right here, right now.

And when you realize that, you realize that there is no savior coming to save us from destroying ourselves. There is no divine being keeping fingers off the nuclear buttons. There is no messiah coming to deliver us from the darkest and final hour. Instead, it is only us, the children of the stars on this planet. We must save ourselves or parish.


  1. I've been enjoying your blog. I've been to a few different denominations' services and found many very interesting. The most unique one that I've seen is at the protestant service on base. They have several chaplains with different religious backgrounds "share" the service. You cannot go see that unless you can get on base or find someone to sponsor you on base. Would you like to go?

    1. They have Saturday services at 7 pm and Sundays at 11. Saturday is more convenient for me but I can get you into either. How is next weekend?

    2. That should work. Email me your contact information. and we'll figure it out from there.